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Groeningen, Netherlands: a new hydrogen filling station in Qbuzz bus depot. 20 new fuel cell buses have been presented during the ceremony. They are built by Van Hool and were ordered in 2019.

On Friday 11 June the new hydrogen filling station at the Qbuzz bus depot on the Peizerweg in Groningen was officially opened.

Groningen deputy Fleur Gräper – van Koolwijk performed the opening ceremony in the presence of Qbuzz director Gerrit Spijksma, OV-bureau director Wilko Mol and Lisa Montanari, Hydrogen Commercial Manager from Shell Nederland.

H2 filling station and buses presented

The new hydrogen filling station is one of the largest in Europe and is part of a larger development, the realization of a new hydrogen ecosystem in the North of the Netherlands. The filling station has been built by Shell, that also supplies the green hydrogen that can be refilled there. The hydrogen is delivered by trailer.

Fleur Gräper – van Koolwijk says: “Today another big step, or rather a big leap, has been made in the introduction of green hydrogen as a successor to fossil fuels such as diesel oil and natural gas. Hydrogen works, hydrogen is becoming normal and is the future of the Northern Netherlands”.

The filling station has two filling points. A bus is refuelled in less than ten minutes and can then travel some 400 kilometres. The hydrogen buses can be used on the longer routes in regional transport where an electric bus with batteries is not always suitable.

Green hydrogen for Qbuzz fuel cell buses

Qbuzz is thus demonstrating how battery-electric and hydrogen-electric vehicles complement each other in mobility. CEO Gerrit Spijksma says: “In Groningen there is now a bus depot that makes it possible to switch compactly and efficiently to the energy carriers of the future: green electricity and green hydrogen. A type of parking facility like this is unique for the time being.”

“Before refuelling, the hydrogen is compressed and cooled. All this happens at the filling point, which is next to the large number of battery-electric buses operated by Qbuzz. A good example of the various options for cleaner transport that Qbuzz offers,” says Lisa Montanari, Commercial Manager Hydrogen at Shell. “We are using green certified hydrogen here until we can produce our own green hydrogen. We also test the filling point regularly to make sure it functions as optimally as possible. Together we are showing that we are not waiting for this hydrogen economy. We just started building it.”

OV-bureau director Wilko Mol added: “We would very much like to run a number of Qliners on hydrogen as well. Only there are no coaches running on hydrogen yet. It would be good if we in Groningen could have the first hydrogen-powered touring coach to cover really long distances in a single day. Then 800 kilometres a day would not be an exception”.

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